Unfortunately, your credit score is much more than a three-digit number – it’s a numerical (often unfair) representation of your financial habits. And, whenever you’re applying for a new credit card, buying a home, starting a business, or purchasing a new vehicle, it counts.
When it comes to a credit score, many people know it like the back of their hand – and if it’s low, they know to be tight-lipped about it. WalletHub, however, has found a way to unlock your credit score secrets.
In a recent study, WalletHub analysts compared the average credit scores of residents in 2,534 U.S. cities. So, if you’re curious as to whether or not your hometown is financially stable, WalletHub has the answer.
Cities with the Highest and Lowest Credit Scores
|Rank||Percentile Rank*||City||Average Credit Score|
|1||99||The Villages, FL||778.77|
|2||99||Los Altos, CA||757.1|
|4||99||Sun City West, AZ||755.59|
|6||99||Sun City Center, FL||752.73|
|7||99||Green Valley, AZ||749.51|
|16||99||Laguna Woods, CA||744.6|
|20||99||Mercer Island, WA||742.8|
|28||99||Rancho Palos Verdes, CA||740.39|
|30||99||Lake Forest, IL||739.91|
To find the cities with the highest and lowest credit scores, WalletHub’s analysts compared the average credit scores of residents in each of 2,534 U.S. cities as of October 2016, based on TransUnion data. According to the study, analysts categorized each city according to the following population sizes:
- Large cities: more than 300,000 people
- Midsize cities: 100,000 to 300,000 people
- Small cities: fewer than 100,000 people
Tips to Improve Your Credit Score
If you’re worried about your credit score, here’s a few tips to get you back on your feet:
- Check your credit report: Repairing your credit score should begin with your credit report. Hop online and request a free copy of your credit report to ensure that it’s free of any mistakes. Your credit report is basically the map that the credit bureau uses to formulate your credit score. If you find an error, dispute it with the credit bureau.
- Reduce your debt: This step is easier said than done, but not impossible. First, and this will hurt a little, STOP using your credit cards. Use your newly printed credit report to make a list of all of your accounts, then go online and check your statements to determine how much you owe on each account. Pay attention to interest rates and due dates. Decide on a payment plan that will allow you to pay off your highest interest cards first, while maintaining minimum payments on your other accounts.
- Setup payment reminders: Making your payments on time is one of the biggest contributing factors to your credit score. Some accounts allow users to setup payment reminders via email or text message. If you’d rather not be reminded, consider setting up an automatic payment plan where your payments will automatically be deducted from your bank account.
Get a Free Credit Report ASAP
You’re entitled to order a free copy of your credit report from each of the major credit reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion – through AnnualCreditReport.com once every 12 months. AnnualCreditReport.com is the only website that is government authorized to provide the public with free copies of their credit report.
You can also request your credit report via phone, by calling 1-877-322-8228, or by mail by completing the Annual Credit Report Request form and mailing it to the following address.
Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Deaf and hard of hearing consumers can access the TTY service by calling 711 and referring the Relay Operator to 1-800-821-7232.
[Featured Image by scyther5/Thinkstock]